What’s your favourite bible verse of all time?
The sequence that I could return to over and over again is the resurrection narratives. Besides being inexhaustibly rich in detail, they form the heart of how I understand God’s connection to humanity. From locked doors, to burning hearts, to breakfast on the beach, I love the vision these stories cast of what it means to encounter the resurrected Jesus, both then and now.
Tell us something about your background that we don’t know already.
My initial introduction to Anglicanism as a child was through summer camp ministries, but the real moment of revelation came on a visit to the American Episcopal Church in Florence, on a wonderful but chaotic trip to Europe with 17 classmates, after my final year of CEGEP (college).
Where is home for you?
I was born and raised in the outskirts of Montreal, at the bottom of a hill in a very quiet neighbourhood, in the middle of McGill’s agricultural campus. That was where I first learned how to get lost in the woods.
Do you feel like you were called to your position?
I have a very vivid memory of my call to the priesthood, or at least pastoral ministry, sitting in the science lab in high school one afternoon. I think my growth into my current role has accrued over time as I’ve grown more and more aware of the positive impact that good process and intentional resourcing can have on a community.
What led you to where you are today?
I’m sure there are as many answers to this as there are people I’ve met in my lifetime, but if I had to summarize, I would say it was the people who gave me a different lens on the world: whether that was my parents who taught me about empathy, Sunday School teachers who taught me about justice, neighbours on the front steps who taught me about resilience or clients in foster care who taught me about joy.
What makes you feel blessed to be in your position?
Although I’m acutely aware of the dangers of the Synod Office vortex, I love having the bird’s eye view, of getting to see ministry happening in so many different contexts and in so many people’s lives. I also love learning new skills and there’s plenty of that to be done at the moment.
What are the core values that guide your work?
Courage in pursuing the Good News. Joy in life together. Empathy with the world at large.
What’s your greatest strength?
A parishioner recently told me that the greatest strength I would bring to this job is my curiosity. I appreciated that. I am curious to know, to learn, to witness and to experience. I think there’s a great grace in a never-ending process like that and I hope that will always leave room for me to grow in my role.
What challenges do you anticipate tackling in your new role?
I have experience in two dioceses now that are ahead of the statistical curve when it comes to challenges to membership and organizational vitality. I think one challenge I foresee is learning from the struggles of those outposts, while remembering to celebrate the signs of God’s kingdom among us where we experience it.
How do you deal with adversity?
I value open, honest, clear and gracious lines of communication. It can be a challenge to hold those all together in tension, but I think it’s well worth it in the end.
Who inspires you the most in pursuing the mission of the Church?
The people I’ve known whose faith was so profound I didn’t even see it until I stopped to listen.
How would you describe your relationship with Jesus?
The author of the Epistle to the Colossians talks about how "your life is hidden with Christ in God." In the abstract, I envision Christ as the container which holds the heart of who I am close to the heart of God. In his personhood though, Jesus is the one who reaches out to me when I’ve fallen short of being the person God hopes me to be. Jesus is the one who both inspires and compels me to be proactive in searching out the face of God in others.
What makes you feel closest to God?
Ever since I was first given keys to a church, I’ve been acutely aware of the immense privilege it is to be able to sit in a public space, all alone, especially late at night. Wherever I’m able to find echoes of that solitude are the times that transport my awareness into the presence of God. Then again, when I think back on it, the times I’ve seen the face of God most clearly are the times I’ve stood by and watched people with seemingly nothing left to give, give the world away to someone missing just one speck of hope. I guess life is full of contrasts.
Where does it make you feel closest to God?
There’s a point on the Dempster Highway, south of Eagle Plains, just shy of the Arctic Circle, which my partner Anne and I once stopped at. The air is fresh, the moss is thick and the horizon goes on and on and on. I think that was the closest I’ve ever come to imagining Sinai.
What do you hope to bring to the community?
Anyone who has experienced my last parish knows that I will go to sometimes unreasonable lengths to put the mission of the community at the front and centre of all we do. I hope to lend my efforts to digging down even deeper into what it means to "Grow communities of faith in Jesus Christ, to serve God’s mission in the world."
What do you envision for the future of the Anglican Church?
Even at my stage of ministry, I’ve been at this too long now to pretend that things won’t look vastly different. The future Church that I choose to entrust to God is one that is intimately formed into the likeness of Christ by the font and the table, that is courageously intentional about its partnerships and that is passionately yet humbly convinced about its ability to transform lives in justice and peace.
What do you envision for your future?
Plenty of room to grow!